Myrrh, Frankincense, and Steel: Kurald Galain's Guide to the Magus


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Kurald Galain wrote:

Hm, that's basically a perfect defense, isn't it? Yes, that's pretty ridiculous. Something tells me Mythic wasn't playtested very well :)

In response to your earlier post, Legendary Weapon is a great choice (and in fluff, especially fitting for a Bladebound). Mythic Paragon looks better on paper than it actually is; I've found that most of the good mythic abilities aren't the ones that scale with tier. Improved Crit is great on a top-level kensai, but generally a Magus will have better choices than this one. The defense bonus on Fly is very good since you'll be flying all the time anyway; compared to that, the defense bonus on Mage Armor doesn't look so impressive.

Mythic Spellcasting is one of the good ones.

Mythic tier determines both the number of spells granted and when you can cast the augmented versions.

Mythic Magic Armor is not just the +2 AC, it is also the 50% fortification.

And yes, I was a bladebound kensai: there was no way I was not going to take Legendary Weapon + Improved Critical - for thematic purposes if nothing else.

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Volkard Abendroth wrote:

Mythic Spellcasting is one of the good ones.

Mythic tier determines both the number of spells granted and when you can cast the augmented versions.

It's a fair point that Paragon gives you two more spells from Mythic Spellcasting, but taking MS a second time will give you more spells than that. Besides, there's not that many good mythic/augmented spells, so I don't think either is all that necessary. As with path abilities, most of the good spells (or augments) aren't the ones that depend on tier.


I've seen many people say that Elven Battle Style is a trap for a magus... but I wonder if it is just not a matter of using it efficiently.

Let's take the Mindblade archetype as an exemple:

With the elven battle style/focus, you can build on dex/int with combat reflex and weapon finesse and use a rapier.
You're not spending truly more feats than going the dervish dancer way, and you trade the high critical range of a scimitar, to gain the ability to perform any combat manoeuver without taking AoOs, which is less powerful, but much more versatile.

But the best comes at level 13, when you gain the Mindblade ability to use spellstrike with a 2H weapon....
You can then switch the rapier for an elven branched spear, giving you reach on an high dex, combat reflex based build.... which is A LOT more intersting than the scimitar's 15-20 critical range that many creatures are immune to.

If you think it's not enough, add Hamatule Strike in the mix: now, each of your hits, including your spellstrike, trigger a grapple check. ON A REACH WEAPON.
This also means that anyone trying to now get close to you, takes an AoO due to combat reflexes, and, if it fails his CMD throw, get stopped at 2 cases from you due to gaining the grappled condition....

If still not enough, take the half-elf race, and after grappling a foe, use spell combat to use Paragon Surge, and pick any grapple feat that seems suited to the situation, to make your victim feels even more miserable when impaled on your spear

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From Disciple's Doctrine, added wave step (basically the same as aquatic agility), circle of order (inferior to spell shield) and book-bound (an obvious trap since it prevents you from using spell combat), plus the Numerology Cylinder (which is something every mid-level caster wants).

Moonheart wrote:
I've seen many people say that Elven Battle Style is a trap for a magus... but I wonder if it is just not a matter of using it efficiently.

It is a trap. The reason is that it doesn't add your int bonus to your str bonus, it replaces your str bonus by your int bonus. That is very obviously not worth three feats and a swift action.


Kurald Galain wrote:
It is a trap. The reason is that it doesn't add your int bonus to your str bonus, it replaces your str bonus by your int bonus. That is very obviously not worth three feats and a swift action.

With all the respect I have for you, I think you got blinded by that former mistake that INT was adding to STR... but I never thought a single second it was.

What I'm humbly suggesting, is however that this former mistake prevented you to figure what the true advantages of that style were, because you were too much focusing on the int+str-to-damage.

I don't have enough experience to perfect the idea all by myself, but if you would, what about about looking a second to this draft of build:

Elven-Style Magus Mindblade
Race: Elf (+2 dex +2 int)
Starting stats with 16/16 in dex/int (so 18/18 with elven bonuses)
Feats:
1. Weapon Finesse (start using a rapier)
3. Elven Battle Training (+1 AoO, harder to disarm)
5. Elven Battle Style; Elven Battle Focus (with on a longword if you wish)
7. Combat Reflexes
9. Power Attack
11. Dimensional Agility; Furious Focus (switch on an Elven Branched Spear)
13. Extra Arcana
15. Extra Arcana
17. Artful Dodge; Redirect Attack
19. Extra Arcana

You have the same attack rolls, AC, reflex saves than a Dervish Dancer
Your damage is weapon 1d8+(1.5 x 6) damage, which is better the the Dervish Magus weapon damage. And you will add a ton of extra damage with Power Attack using a 2H weapon.
You have a permanent REACH with EIGHT AoO per turn. And they all still benefit for Power Attack enhancements.
You can use ALL manoeuvers without ever triggering any AoO from the opponents (and without having to take -ANY- the associated Improved XXX feats for that), which opens a TON of possibilities.

I don't know, but in my book, this doesn't look any weaker that any Dervish Magus build I seen so far.
It strike hard, often, and is quite versatile. It's just quite a late bloomer.

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Moonheart wrote:
I don't have enough experience to perfect the idea all by myself, but if you would, what about about looking a second to this draft of build:

Ok, here's the thing. Getting reach on a Magus is a great combo; I completely agree with that. The question is whether your build is a good way of achieving this combo, or if there are easier ways.

For instance, with the first-level spell Long Arm, you can have a dex-based reach build right from the start. At level 3, you'd have either Combat Reflexes or Dervish Dance; at level 5 you'd have both. This build uses a reach weapon in spell combat at level 1, whereas your build gets that at level 13. You call it a late bloomer, but this is so late that your campaign will probably be over before you get your build online.

Aside from that, your build has a couple of things that look like benefits but really aren't. Combat Reflexes is good... but eight AOOs is far more than you'll ever need. 1d8+9 base damage sounds decent... but a strength Magus easily tops it at level 1. Maneuvers are useful options... but anyone with a reach weapon can use those without provoking. And none of these three are actually benefits of EBS. Finally, your build is flat-out unplayable with the default 15 point buy.

So this is why EBS is a trap. Anything you can do with it, you can do cheaper and more easily without it.


I think you're not being totaly fair here, Kurald.
If you factor a point for or against one of the Dervish Magus or EBS Magus, then you must do the same for the other if you want to fairly compare them.

Kurald Galain wrote:
For instance, with the first-level spell Long Arm, you can have a dex-based reach build right from the start. At level 3, you'd have either Combat Reflexes or Dervish Dance; at level 5 you'd have both. This build uses a reach weapon in spell combat at level 1, whereas your build gets that at level 13. You call it a late bloomer, but this is so late that your campaign will probably be over before you get your build online.

Here, for exemple, you count Long Arm for the Dervish, but not for the EBS.

Using EBS:
- You also get reach at level 1
- But once you pick the spear you're going to have a threat range of THREE cases, because Reach and Long Arm stack

So, if you compare fairly, then you can say that in terms of reach, the EBS Magus is still strictly superior to the Dervish Magus, since it can do the same before level 13, and better after.

Also, you could see it like this: the tax feat of EBS in fact is a bit the same that taking a feat saying "Once you are level 13, you gain permanent benefit of Long Arm. It does not cost you an action nor a spell slot to use it, and you don't need to prepare or know the spell either"

Try to wonder: if you had a feat like this, won't you truly not consider to put it in your Dervish build? Truly?
I know I'll do.

Quote:
Aside from that, your build has a couple of things that look like benefits but really aren't. Combat Reflexes is good... but eight AOOs is far more than you'll ever need. 1d8+9 base damage sounds decent... but a strength Magus easily tops it at level 1.

Let's apply the same logic here: you factor a point against the EBS Magus, but what if you apply the same to the Dervish Magus?

- STR Magus -also- easily tops the Dervish Magus damage at level 1
- The Dervish Magus will never grind his damage back to something close (and even superior) to the STR Magus with levels

So, here again, once you compare fairly in terms of damage, the EBS Magus is still strictly superior in the long run, to the Dervish Magus.
It only suffer a bit at low level, because it's longer for it to completly remove its reliance on STR.

Quote:
Maneuvers are useful options... but anyone with a reach weapon can use those without provoking. And none of these three are actually benefits of EBS.

But the Dervish doesn't get reach without casting a spell. The EBS Magus will, and will cast True Strike instead... which is a HUGE gain for a manoeuver.

Quote:
So this is why EBS is a trap. Anything you can do with it, you can do cheaper and more easily without it.

I disagree:

- you can't get close to STR build damage while keeping all the advantages of a high DEX build with anything else than a level 13+ EBS
- you can't get reach without wasting a spellcasting with anything else than level 13+ EBS
- you cannot get the reach an EBS can get with anything else, because the EBS can use ALL the reach-improving tricks of other builds... and still add his reach weapon quality on top of it
- you cannot use ALL manoeuvers without Improved manoeuvers feats or spells, and do not take any AoO, except if you use EBS

So, yes, I agree, EBS cost more.
But it also DOES more.

Past level 13, an EBS has:
- all the advantages of a STR Magus
- all the advantages of a DEX Magus
- it does MORE damage than ALL other kind of Magus
- it it BETTER at ALL manoeuvers than all other kind of Magus
- it features a 15ft reach, something only a handful archetypes in all Pathfinder can access

My feeling is that EBS is neither an obvious gain or a trap, it's just a long-term investment.
By going EBS, you're just slightly behind a Dervish magus at levels 10 and less, but you end to be a powerhouse in all the late game, so it's a path you should consider essentialy for campaign who plan to go up to the level 20.

Does that last statement sound fair to you, considering the points above?

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Moonheart wrote:
Past level 13, an EBS has:

Very well, let's take a look at these five claims, at level 13 and up. I think we agree that this EBS build is not beneficial at lower levels.

(1/2) The Str and Dex Magus both use the same stat for to-hit and damage; the EBS uses dex to hit, int to damage. It is cheaper to boost one stat than to boost two, so the EBS will have lower stats (try to make either from the standard 15 point buy and the difference is obvious). So the Str Magus is going to deal a bit more damage, and the Dex Magus gets a couple extra points of AC/reflex/init. Not exactly a big deal, but you do not get ALL the advantages.

(3) This is the most interesting claim you're making. Please show your DPR calculations, then.

(4) EBS states "combat maneuver checks attempted with that weapon as attacks of opportunity don’t themselves provoke", emphasis mine. So this doesn't do what you think it does - you do not control when you make an AOO, and most maneuvers cannot be used as AOOs in the first place. Aside from that, anyone with a reach weapon can use maneuvers without provoking.

(5) I'm not sure where you get the idea that 15' reach is rare. There are tons of size increasing effects in Pathfinder (e.g. druid, alchemist, bloodrager, plant domain, anyone with Enlarge or Monstrous Physique, and so on). Combine that with a reach weapon and you've got 15' reach; how is that hard again? Add in Long Arm and/or the Lunge feat and you've got more reach than that, and at much lower levels.

...I'm afraid most of your claims do not hold up to scrutiny. However the one about damage still stands, at least if you could show some math on that. Bear in mind that a 15-20 crit range (which the Dervish has and your build does not) significantly improves damage.


Ok, I'm going to simply a bit the analysis, because comparing the benefit of reach vs the benefit of a superior critical range is truly tricky and will bury the important points under a ton of useless maths.

So, for the next part, let's forget the Elven Branched Spear and switch to the Elven Curved blade, so we'll be on the same ground, the Elven Curved Blade being basicaly a 2H Scimitar

--------------------------------

In your guide, your recommended stat distribution for a STR build is the following: Str 18, Dex 12, Con 14, Int 14, Wis 10, Cha 8
At level 13, you got +3 str from level up, and adding a +4 item, you reach:
- BAB+7 on attack rolls
- 1d8 base damage
- +7 on damage rolls from stats
- +6 on damage rolls from power attack

Now, I take your recommended stat distribution for a DEX build from the same source: Str 8, Dex 19, Con 14, Int 14, Wis 10, Cha 8.
At level 13, I put +1 on Dex, +2 on INT, and adding +4 items, I reach:
- BAB+7 on attack rolls
- 1d10 base damage
- +7 on damage rolls from stats (20 int -> +5 modifier -> x1.5 for a 2H weapon)
- +9 on damage rolls from power attack

=> At level 13, I do 4 more point damage per hit with EBS than with your STR build stat distribution, and this will increase even more at 16 when I'll reach a new Power Attack tier

Remember three additionnal things here:
- the weapon I use for this demonstration has the same critical range and reach than yours, so the STR has no benefit on the EBS on this
- I used your DEX build stat distribution, while they are not IMHO the best one for using EBS.. I could grin easily 3-4 more damage points by hit using a stat distribution more suited to an EBS build.
- the EBS still have more AoO than your STR build on top of that, deepening the difference in DPR

-------------

Now, on top of a superior DPR, the EBS build using the Elven Curved Sword also have:
- a better AC
- a better reflex save
- more skill ranks
So basicaly... YES, it cost more feats, but it does more than a STR build on the long run, despite of a trickier starting stat distribution.

-------------

Finaly, on the "reach" topic:

You claim that you have reach because you can cast Long Arm, but this is absolutly not the same cost:
- to get reach, the EBS spend a swift action, and it can extend it to 15ft after that
- to get reach, you need to sacrifice a round of spellcombat, and you cannot extend it to 15th

Honestly, sacrifying a round of spellcasting is a LOT, considering that the vast majority of battles in Pathfinder are decided in the 3 first rounds.
While you can Long Arm, an EBS magus cast Blade Dash.


On a side note, a little comment about a point in your guide:

Quote:
Lunge* / Lunging Spell Touch / Weapon Trick: Polearm* - They do basically the same thing, giving reach on your attacks, which is a great ability to have. Lunge requires level 8; LST can be taken at level 6, but only works on spell touches. Then again, those tend to be your most important attacks. Weapon Trick can be taken at level 2, but gives a penalty to hit and damage.

Actualy, Lunge does not truly make the same thing that a Reach weapon, because the bonus range effect stop at the end of your turn.

It means that while it allows your to perform a full attack on someone starting at 10ft of your position (5ft strep + lunge), you won't get any AoO from someone moving at 10ft after that.

Giving how situational it is to start a round with no ennemy at 5ft range, but an ennemy at 10ft... and the fact you could solve this problem simply by casting blade rush, would probably give it a lower rating to those two feats.

---------------------

Also, I do not understand the "Weapon Trick: Polearm" thing.

According to the PFSRD page, using Weapon Trick: Polearm already requiers to use a Polearm, something the magus cannot naturaly do, because 2H weapon prevents him to use Spell Combat
Also, I do not see any mention that the Weapon Trick: Polearm does anything like extending your reach...

Could you clarify this for me?

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Moonheart wrote:
Ok, I'm going to simply a bit the analysis, because comparing the benefit of reach vs the benefit of a superior critical range is truly tricky

No it's not. Sorry, if you do not know how to do a basic DPR calculation then you have no business claiming that one build does "MORE damage than ALL other kind".

You are welcome to use your own stat distribution, of course. It may help if you take one that actually meets the prereq for Power Attack :P

Quote:
to get reach, you need to sacrifice a round of spellcombat, and you cannot extend it to 15th

Come now. Casting Long Arm is the level one solution. At level thirteen, you'd be casting Monstrous Physique III, which gives +6 to strength, 15' reach, +4 to AC, 3d6 base weapon damage, and pounce. And please read my post above on how to get more than 15' reach.


You cannot simply do a "basic" DPR calculation accounting criticals in Pathfinder that would be truthful.
The simple fact to calculate a DPR -assuming- the foe you strike is vulnerable to criticals is a bias that goes to the profit of critical-based builds, but that do not, in any way, represent the factual and statistical truth.

That's why I took the pain to go through the scientifical method, setting a situation that is perhaps not the one where the EBS shine the most, but where the critical properties on both side are EXACTLY the same, so they cannot be considered as a factor anymore.

Now, even fixing my small mistake on the stats for power attack requierments, I still reach a highest DPH than with your STR build by at least 3 points, while keeping the same attack rating, critical range and multiplier... and I still can attack more often due the extra AoO.
So I do not feel like you actualy took a serious look at the mathematical proof I wrote on your own request...

------

For the reach topic, it has been discussed over and over: you keep comparing what you get spending a spellcasting, with something the EBS magus gets for a swift action without spending any spell slot...
That doesn't make sense for me.

That's like... if you were saying "Your Quicken Fireball doesn't count as an advantage, because I can cast Fireball without Quicken Spell"

-------

Overall, I feel this is a pointless debate, as you more eager to dismiss a divergeant opinion that to look at the arguments with an open mind to figure if there is some extra potential for your guide... so I won't make you lose more of your time.

It is already a great guide overall.


So also it seems like the Elven build is factoring in 2 +4 items opposed to the one +4 item needed by the normal builds. So that's a lot of gold extra for the elven build.


You need an int item even with the STR build, or you will not be able to cast 5th/6th level spells.


Moonheart wrote:
You need an int item even with the STR build, or you will not be able to cast 5th/6th level spells.

a +2 headband, that's a lot cheaper than a +4.


Even with a +2 headband... oh, well, whatever.
I've already said I'm dropping the topic... there is no point to discuss this with people that had their opinion set even before I start talking.


Moonheart wrote:
You cannot simply do a "basic" DPR calculation accounting criticals in Pathfinder that would be truthful..

Yes you can. If somebody really wanted to they could run the numbers to determine the ratio of crit immune monsters in APs, heck you could even break that down by level if you wanted. The percentage chance a monster is crit immune could be worked into the dps formula.


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Moonheart wrote:

Even with a +2 headband... oh, well, whatever.

I've already said I'm dropping the topic... there is no point to discuss this with people that had their opinion set even before I start talking.

Well I up to being convinced if you can provide convincing evidence. I just don't feel you've done that.

Shadow Lodge

From reading the feats involved it doesn't look like you'd increase your INT to damage by half for a two-handed weapon either.


Chess Pwn wrote:
Well I up to being convinced if you can provide convincing evidence. I just don't feel you've done that.

Why don't you try to calculate it yourself?

I've been the one doing all the math since the beginning, and no one seems to actualy have even look at the numbers provided

Dragonborn3 wrote:
From reading the feats involved it doesn't look like you'd increase your INT to damage by half for a two-handed weapon either.

It's been part of the FAQ since like... forever: "what happen to the x1.5 modifier to damage of a 2H weapon when you replace the STR by another stat?"

Several form of this question have been asked for several cases of replacement, and every answer has always been in the same direction: the x1.5 modifier persist.
For exemple, here is the answer for the Unchained Rogue: FAQ


Doesn't using the branch spear prevent you from using spell combat, which is part and parcel to the class? What am I missing?

I always thought the goal on a reach Magus was to get a 1h reach weapon (like a whip or dorn-dergar), because AoOs aren't that reliable to get.

Shadow Lodge

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Time and again we're told FAQs only apply to what they are about. Unchained Rogue's FAQ doesn't apply here.


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Moonheart wrote:
Chess Pwn wrote:
Well I up to being convinced if you can provide convincing evidence. I just don't feel you've done that.
Why don't you try to calculate it yourself?

cause I'm not the one trying to prove your view


God, you're so irritating...
I'll do it again one LAST time.

Moonheart wrote:

In your guide, your recommended stat distribution for a STR build is the following: Str 18, Dex 12, Con 14, Int 14, Wis 10, Cha 8

At level 13, you got +3 str from level up, and adding a +4 item, you reach:
- BAB+7 on attack rolls
- 1d8 base damage
- +7 on damage rolls from stats
- +6 on damage rolls from power attack

The stat distribution is a 20pt budget, and assume a +2 int item to be able to cast level 6th spell... it ends with an average damage per hit of 17.5

Now, with the same 20pt budget, I end when with this stat distribution after applying the elven racial modifiers:
Str 13, Dex 17, Con 12, Int 16, Wis 10, Cha 8 (2pts left, could grab an extra +1 Willpower)
I replace the items by a +4 dex, a +2 constitution and an Elven Curved Blade...

I end at level 13 with:
- 1d10 base damage
- +3 intelligence to damage
- +9 on damage rolls from power attack
=> which means the same 17.5 average damage per hit, with the same attack bonus, the same critical range and the same critical multiplier.

And I reach this result fixing the Power Attack pre-requiste, and taking ALL the worst assumptions you've throw in my way (not enough gold for two +4 items, no x1.5 multiplier to int modifier, when you still have to prove those points)
That's here the worst-case scenario.

Now remember: the EBS magus also do have more AoO per turn, so since it has every other factor being equal, it will then finaly end with a better DPR

... on top of a better AC, reflex save, will save, and amount of skill ranks.

Grand Lodge

Moonheart wrote:
God, you're so irritating...

I see you've read How to Win Friends and Influence People.


I'm glad to see that's the only thing you cared about in my answer...

Shadow Lodge

Well when it's still increasing INT for a two-handed weapon using an FAQ for ONLY URogue...


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Moonheart wrote:

God, you're so irritating...

I'll do it again one LAST time.

Moonheart wrote:

In your guide, your recommended stat distribution for a STR build is the following: Str 18, Dex 12, Con 14, Int 14, Wis 10, Cha 8

At level 13, you got +3 str from level up, and adding a +4 item, you reach:
- BAB+7 on attack rolls
- 1d8 base damage
- +7 on damage rolls from stats
- +6 on damage rolls from power attack

The stat distribution is a 20pt budget, and assume a +2 int item to be able to cast level 6th spell... it ends with an average damage per hit of 17.5

Now, with the same 20pt budget, I end when with this stat distribution after applying the elven racial modifiers:
Str 13, Dex 17, Con 12, Int 16, Wis 10, Cha 8 (2pts left, could grab an extra +1 Willpower)
I replace the items by a +4 dex, a +2 constitution and an Elven Curved Blade...

I end at level 13 with:
- 1d10 base damage
- +3 intelligence to damage
- +9 on damage rolls from power attack
=> which means the same 17.5 average damage per hit, with the same attack bonus, the same critical range and the same critical multiplier.

And I reach this result fixing the Power Attack pre-requiste, and taking ALL the worst assumptions you've throw in my way (not enough gold for two +4 items, no x1.5 multiplier to int modifier, when you still have to prove those points)
That's here the worst-case scenario.

Now remember: the EBS magus also do have more AoO per turn, so since it has every other factor being equal, it will then finaly end with a better DPR

... on top of a better AC, reflex save, will save, and amount of skill ranks.

I don't think your AC is really that better, the STR magus can be in full plate at that level which gives it base 10 AC your 7 dex+armor is not much higher if any.

your bonus will is cause you're "cheesing" that stats by buying a 17 and using all 3 stat bumps. If the str build was only caring about lv13 he could just the same buy str of 17 and have extra points to up will save.
having many potential AoOs is often only useful if you can cause enemies to provoke them. I've rarely seen fights where you can get many AoOs
1 skill point a level is a feat away for the str one, and it would seem like he has "feats to spare" since this elf build uses so many feats to qualify. Plus also only true until the INT headband when the str version matches skills with the elf version.
The Reflex save IS a lot better though, there's not really any matching there. But if I cared about that I'd just be a dervish magus for dex fighting.

And to be the REAL kicker is, why are you two handing your weapon but the str version isn't? this elven style doesn't grant special powers for that as far as I'm aware, so if they're two handing then the str should as well for a bonus 6 damage per hit putting them over this elven style.

And it's 4 feats to come online with. The magus can get good numbers with 4 feats. I'm not sure what the STR one does in the guide, but with 4 feats the magus could have WF, WS, toughness, and lightning reflex putting them at +1 accuracy, +2 damage, and +13 HP over this elf build.

So for many feats I can do the same damage as a str person AS LONG AS the str person uses only one hand AND doesn't use their feats to improve combat prowess AND doesn't use their spells to turn to monstrous humanoids that give STR boosts and base weapon damage boosts that the elf version has no such similar boosts available.

Also, being sucky for many levels to eventually finally "come online" so late doesn't seem like a good deal for this fairly even trade of power.

Like sure it works out okay, But I'm not seeing how it's "clearly superior" by ANY means. Now if there's something I'm overlooking in this comparison please share.
Perhaps it's just largely a difference in how useful multiple potential AoOs are, or a difference in how good reflex saves are.

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Moonheart, I'm sorry to hear you're getting irritated from all this. Please understand that if you just want to share a cool build you've made then everybody is fine with that.

However, if you claim that your build is the best build or strictly superior to some other build or the highest damage of any Magus, then people will expect you to prove this. And this goes both ways: if you expect other people to be convinced by your math, you should also be open to be convinced by their math if they point out that you've overlooked something. If you cannot do that, then you're just "eager to dismiss a divergeant opinion".

Moonheart wrote:
Also, I do not understand the "Weapon Trick: Polearm" thing.

It lets you use a polearm one-handed. If the polearm has reach, you now have a one-handed reach weapon.

PossibleCabbage wrote:
Doesn't using the branch spear prevent you from using spell combat, which is part and parcel to the class? What am I missing?

The catch is that Moonheart's build is a Mindblade. At level 13 and up, Mindblades can use spell combat with a 2H weapon.

Moonheart wrote:
ALL the worst assumptions you've throw in my way (not enough gold for two +4 items, no x1.5 multiplier to int modifier, when you still have to prove those points)

The point is not that you don't have enough gold. The point is that IF you spend gold on two +4 items, then the Str Magus gets to spend the same amount of gold on something else - otherwise your comparison isn't fair.

In the same spirit, as Chesspwn points out, your EBS build has spent four feats. That means the Str Magus gets to spend four feats on something else, too. And because the EBS requires a swift action to activate the stance, the Str Magus gets to spend a swift action, e.g. on arcane pool to boost his weapon by +4.

Chess Pwn wrote:
And to be the REAL kicker is, why are you two handing your weapon but the str version isn't?

Because it's a Mindblade and the Str Magus is not.

When the discussion started, Moonheart wanted to prove that the Elven Battle feat line (that are commonly considered trap options) are actually great. Mindblade is just an instrument in this proof. So the question becomes, what happens to this build if we replace the EBS feats? ...It turns out the build actually becomes better. You lose +3 damage from int, but WF/WS makes up for that and you gain two feats and a swift action.

So the overall conclusion here is that Mindblade is very good, Combat Reflexes is very good, and Elven Battle Style is still a trap.


I said... there is no hope trying to convaince people who set their mind even before your start your first word.
You never looked seriously once at the value of all you are getting for the cost of two more feats.

I'm done with this talk.


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First off, let me just say that this guide is great. I've rarely seen this level of dedication in a guide, so thank you, and well done. The Magus has become one of my favorite classes to play. Anyway, I'd like to request a couple of additions to the guide, namely words of power and mythic. Both are really cool subsystems, and I think a Magus in particular could benefit from WoP, especially Eldritch Scion.


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Moonheart wrote:

I said... there is no hope trying to convaince people who set their mind even before your start your first word.

You never looked seriously once at the value of all you are getting for the cost of two more feats.

I'm done with this talk.

That's not the way theses things work. If you were able to show some overlooked option actually had superior DPS then suddenly everyone (who runs optimal characters) would switch.


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Moonheart wrote:
I said... there is no hope trying to convaince people who set their mind even before your start your first word.

That's an ironic accusation to be throwing around given how belligerent you've been over people disagreeing with you and how little effort you've been willing to put into actually discussing your build.

As far as I can tell you've never even tried to convince people in a good faith manner. You just said your build was better and then passive aggressively mocked anyone who questioned that.

Grand Lodge

Kurald thanks a lot for this guide

It will be awesome if you can add more sample builds, I just feel like there's a bunch of powerful builds and very different ones to make a good Magus

Thanks again


Silas Hawkwinter wrote:
That's not the way theses things work. If you were able to show some overlooked option actually had superior DPS then suddenly everyone (who runs optimal characters) would switch.

I never had for a goal to show it has a superior DPR... I've answered a lot about DPR because people said I had to prove the my damage was not inferior when using EBS, but it never has been my point.


swoosh wrote:

That's an ironic accusation to be throwing around given how belligerent you've been over people disagreeing with you and how little effort you've been willing to put into actually discussing your build.

As far as I can tell you've never even tried to convince people in a good faith manner. You just said your build was better and then passive aggressively mocked anyone who questioned that.

I'm the only one that spent hours toying with numbers to a clear and synthetic proof of my points, when all other did put none effort into proving theirs the same way.... so to say I did little effort is a bit unfair.

And... I've never said, not only once, my build was superior. You can check.


So my question is, other than "my concept being that I use Elven Battle Style" what does the Branch Spear Dex Magus mindblade build do better than a Str Magus who spends two feats to get heavy armor proficiency (Psychic Casting, so feel free to slap on full plate ASAP)?

Okay, you can make more AoOs, and you can make combat maneuvers as AoOs without provoking in the event you're trying to trip (for e.g.) something whose natural reach equals your reach, but I figure your damage and AC are going to be lower, and you've got an inferior set of weapons to choose from. In my experience the value of an AoO focus (unless you can get absurd reach) is going to vary a lot due to things outside of your control (campaign structure and GM tactics, notably).

So it's not that Elven Battle Focus is not useful, it's that its two prerequisites are pretty poor feats.

Don't get me wrong, I've put together a lot of builds just to try to get that one feat working, but it's always worth stepping back to consider "what am I getting out of this versus doing something simpler"?

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Moonheart wrote:
And... I've never said, not only once, my build was superior. You can check.

Seriously now? You've been repeatedly making such claims all over the page. For instance,

Moonheart wrote:

- it does MORE damage than ALL other kind of Magus

- it it BETTER at ALL manoeuvers than all other kind of Magus
Moonheart wrote:
Now, on top of a superior DPR, the EBS build using the Elven Curved Sword also have:
Moonheart wrote:
I still reach a highest DPH than with your STR build by at least 3 points,

...and you were proven wrong on all counts. Yeah, I think we're done here.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

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Etob wrote:
First off, let me just say that this guide is great. I've rarely seen this level of dedication in a guide, so thank you, and well done. The Magus has become one of my favorite classes to play. Anyway, I'd like to request a couple of additions to the guide, namely words of power and mythic. Both are really cool subsystems, and I think a Magus in particular could benefit from WoP, especially Eldritch Scion.

Thank you :)

Well I've just recently put in a section on Mythic. It could still use a bit of proofreading but please take a look. It's next to the prestige classes because mechanically mythic tiers feel like a powerful prestige class (that fully advances your main class, too).


Spells list "Shield of Dawn" but that's what d20pfsrd renamed "Shield of the Dawnflower" to due to copyright issues. (And followers of Sarenrae only)

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

james014Aura wrote:
Spells list "Shield of Dawn" but that's what d20pfsrd renamed "Shield of the Dawnflower" to due to copyright issues. (And followers of Sarenrae only)

Fixed, thanks. Generally speaking, faith-specific spells are created by that faith but not restricted to that faith (e.g. see Inner Sea Gods, page 228).

UnArcaneElection wrote:
Note: In the Spells section of the guide, some spells like Hellfire Ray that are only available through Spell Blending or Greater Spell Access are in the regular spells part of this section.

Turns out that Nethys has been updated and now also lists Hellfire Ray as a Magus spell.


Kurald Galain wrote:
Moonheart wrote:
And... I've never said, not only once, my build was superior. You can check.

Seriously now? You've been repeatedly making such claims all over the page. For instance,

Moonheart wrote:

- it does MORE damage than ALL other kind of Magus

- it it BETTER at ALL manoeuvers than all other kind of Magus
Moonheart wrote:
Now, on top of a superior DPR, the EBS build using the Elven Curved Sword also have:
Moonheart wrote:
I still reach a highest DPH than with your STR build by at least 3 points,

...and you were proven wrong on all counts. Yeah, I think we're done here.

That show how biased you have been from the beginning, because almost all my answers have ALSO been mentionning :

- "after the level 13"
- "at the cost of two more feats"
- and "damage is not everything"

Since how, someone trying to be fair and accurate, traduce someone else's sentence "it does more damage once it reach level 13, at the cost of two feats more" into "it's clearly superior" ?

But yet, you accused me from this several times, when I was insisting on my side about the nature of the style being: "Cost more, but does more" and being "something that is valid in campaign going into the high levels for a long time"
Same here: are those a sentences that screams "clearly superior", for you ? If yes, we just do not speak the same language.

Also, it's really haughty of you pretending you prooved everything to be wrong: YOU NEVER PROVED A SINGLE POINT.
Prooving requiers numbers, you did not even care post a single one, only doubts about small points that never changed the core problem.

And what more?
You're accusing me to not reply in good faith, when I'm the only one doing concessions and admitting when I do a mistake... I even redid all the calculations once, to fix my mistake on Power Attack requierments and agreed that I could get even more DPH with a STR Minblade... and you, what have you done on your side as simply a concession or proof of honestly in that debate?

NOTHING.

----

So yes, the discussion is over, because you never bothered to bring the proof of any of your claims, when I did my best for this on my side... showing how totaly unbalanced that debate have been from the beggining.

I felt outraged when someone told me I was the only one needing to bring a proof on the table, because I was the one claiming something => YOU, KURALD, were the first one to bring a claim: the one that EBS was a trap, and that you could do everything it does for cheaper if you want.

So, I challenge you: PROVE IT.

Put on the table all the numbers that shows that, with less feats, you can build something that does the same DPH, without loosing any of the high DEX benefits.

I won't be mad to be proved wrong, I could even be delighted if it's done cunningly... but I'm ulcerated that you just throw claims without -any- proof, and then claim I'm the one not arguing in good faith.

You're the one with the firt claim, you should have been the first one to bring a proof.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Kurald Galain wrote:
james014Aura wrote:
Spells list "Shield of Dawn" but that's what d20pfsrd renamed "Shield of the Dawnflower" to due to copyright issues. (And followers of Sarenrae only)
Fixed, thanks. Generally speaking, faith-specific spells are created by that faith but not restricted to that faith (e.g. see Inner Sea Gods, page 228).

Ohhhhhhh. I'll have to keep that in mind. I need to hunt down a copy of ISG, too. My son apparently needs to understand why Erastil might be upset at him for killing a mother wolf and then trading (or stomping on) her puppies for profit (fun). ;)


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Moonheart wrote:
Kurald Galain wrote:
Moonheart wrote:
And... I've never said, not only once, my build was superior. You can check.

Seriously now? You've been repeatedly making such claims all over the page. For instance,

Moonheart wrote:

- it does MORE damage than ALL other kind of Magus

- it it BETTER at ALL manoeuvers than all other kind of Magus
Moonheart wrote:
Now, on top of a superior DPR, the EBS build using the Elven Curved Sword also have:
Moonheart wrote:
I still reach a highest DPH than with your STR build by at least 3 points,

...and you were proven wrong on all counts. Yeah, I think we're done here.

That show how biased you have been from the beginning, because almost all my answers have ALSO been mentionning :

- "after the level 13"
- "at the cost of two more feats"
- and "damage is not everything"

Since how, someone trying to be fair and accurate, traduce someone else's sentence "it does more damage once it reach level 13, at the cost of two feats more" into "it's clearly superior" ?

Dude, first off, are you not arguing that it's better at lv13? Like the only reason for your view would be that it's clearly better at lv13 and thus worth the costs. If it's NOT better then there's no reason to say it's a good idea cause it's not. Cause at that point your advocating little to no benefit or niche benefit for extra cost and that is something that gets a poor rating in a guide.

If your issue is that we're saying "clearly superior" and you mean "generally better but with a higher cost" then we are saying the same thing. But like above, we assumed your view must be trying to prove that it's a better choice and thus worth a better rating.

We've done our pass and it wasn't good. You're the one saying it's good, the one wanting to change our minds, so it's your job to provide proof that doesn't get nullified when we look at it. We don't really need to change your mind, we don't feel the need to convince you to accept our view that it's bad. And I'm totally up for being proven wrong, it's fun because that often lets me know about something I've overlooked or didn't know about. But you've not done a good job showing that it's better at lv13. Your last build I commented on and showed with math and numbers that really all your build had over the str build was a higher REF save while being worse at some stuff and taking a long time to come online. You didn't respond to any of those points to show that yours was better in any other way.

So like what are you expecting? What more of us do you want other than responding to your examples and showing why your builds aren't beating the recommended builds? We get that you think we're being jerks, but you aren't sharing what you'd want us to do differently (okay you did ask that we provide all the math ever to prove that the elf build is worse than everything but that's a ridiculous request.)


What's a better way to get heavy armor proficiency on a mindblade- 2 feats or a dip in another class?

Shadow Lodge

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Don't feed trolls.


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What do you think about the combination of soothsayer and protective luck for the Hexcrafter?
Protective luck forces your enemies to reroll rolls targeting the target of your hex for 1 round plus 1 round every 8 Levels and take the worse result while soothsayer is a bit like contingency for hexes.
This makes enemy crits a lot less likely and is generally a pretty good ac boost, although one that doesn’t last very long.
The important part is that, atleast as far as I am aware, protective luck lacks the clause that makes you unable to affect the same target more than once every day so you could just renew the hex on every party member after it is used up in combat and have it constantly running on everyone but you.

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GorzTheDark wrote:
What do you think about the combination of soothsayer and protective luck for the Hexcrafter?

That's a pretty good trick, buffing your allies without requiring actions during combat. Nice catch!


Thanks for the tip on Protective Luck -- it is on Archives of Nethys, but not on www.d20pfsrd.com, even though it is from Heroes of the High Court, which has been out for a while. Although if I had to stick my neck out, I would venture that the lack of wording saying you can only use it once per target per day is probably an oversight, and will eventually get Errata'd if they ever give Heroes of the High Court the Errata treatment.

Silver Crusade

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Just in case anyone is interested and missed it...

It's finally been clarified that for PFS, Dervish Dance & Spell Combat have been ruled to be compatible ie work together. See it here!

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